New mural on way to Beatty Street wall

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      A new mural is planned for Beatty Street, the City of Vancouver’s general manager of community services has told the Straight.

      David McLellan said that a community-based collective of artists is working with city hall and that a new series of paintings could go up soon, possibly even before the start of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

      McLellan was responding to questions related to a stenciled message painted on the wall during the weekend of January 22. In bold, white letters, that message reads, “Beatty Street mural coming soon”¦”

      The stretch of concrete slated for the project runs from Dunsmuir Street to Georgia Street. On December 23, workers for the City of Vancouver painted over a series of 16 murals that had stood on the wall since 2007.

      A public outcry ensued and anti-Olympic graffiti appeared on the wall soon after. Encircling Olympic rings were the words, “With glowing hearts we kill the arts.”

      The stenciled graffiti was quickly painted over and, two weeks later, the City’s sanctioned message appeared.


      Stenciled paintings criticizing the 2010 Winter Olympic Games appeared on Beatty Street sometime between January 8 and 11. Travis Lupick photo.

      McLellan said that he would like to see the new mural go up before the Olympics, but cautioned that logistical hurdles remain in the project’s way.

      A stretch of nice weather is required, McLellan explained. The site borders an Olympic live site still under construction and any work on the mural will not be allowed to interfere with preparation for the Games. In addition, the project’s organizers are still working to secure funding for the mural.

      “We don’t have the exact timing nailed down yet,” McLellan said. “We just thought people should know that it is on the way soon.”


      Paintings since removed by the City of Vancouver. On Beatty Street between Dunsmuir and Georgia streets.

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      Jan 26, 2010 at 12:10pm

      Yeah, that's democracy in action; you kick and scream 'til you're blue in the face to get some decency.


      Jan 26, 2010 at 2:46pm

      If the city really wanted a mural on that wall before the Olympics, wouldn't it have been easier to leave the one that was already there? And if funding's an issue, who paid for it to be painted over in the first place?

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      Jan 26, 2010 at 6:02pm

      They painted over some soppy cartoon images of Charlie Brown and Snoopy that had been up since "gasp" 2007 and there was public outcry that the government was 'killing the arts'? This shows you Vancouverites will complain about anything. Maybe they should just pay some real artists to get a real mural up there this time. If the mural was actually art and not cartoon doodling then we'll have reason to complain when they paint over it.

      petey f

      Jan 26, 2010 at 6:58pm

      City Hall has more channels than a salmon ladder n more hoops to jump thru, by hoops i mean those 5 which can't be wispered ... sshhhh

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      Jan 27, 2010 at 8:10am

      I enjoy how the city co-opted the "public outry's" stencils with their own stencil-style message that something new was coming - very awesome.

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      johnney watts aka jj

      Jan 27, 2010 at 10:36am

      i,m known as jj i spent over ten years in pigon park cleening the park and painting on the wall over and over and never had a complant of the art i put on that wall.non of it was to do with sex,race,or politics it was just kleean art, i,m now in recovary .i think thay are doing a good thing for other artist to get known ,its just to bad thay didnt have an art contest befor the olympic starts to give someone new a chance to do ther best for the world to see!

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      Andy Fleming

      Jan 27, 2010 at 1:00pm

      I'd love to hear what Steve Nash thinks of the irony of a mural he commissioned painted over because of a sporting event.

      Sean Bickerton

      Jan 27, 2010 at 1:49pm

      Mr. McLellan's announcement gives rise to a number of questions:

      * How much did it cost the David Nash Foundation to have the original mural painted?

      * How much was spent to desecrate that work of public art by covering it with that horrible industrial blue paint?

      * How much is going to be spent on a new mural to replace the one we loved and the city's Art Police destroyed?

      * Is the community going to be consulted or do the same City Art Police that destroyed the original work now get to chose a more 'politically correct' work of art to be installed in its place?

      Bruce Triggs

      Jan 28, 2010 at 12:16pm

      I was hoping you'd have more pictures of the original murals. They were done in sections by different artists or teams of artists. I liked some of it better than others. I'll really miss this one:

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